By Rachael Bunyan and Amie-beth Steadman For Mailonline
15:01 17 Mar 2023, updated 16:33 17 Mar 2023
- Hundreds of tourists stood in four-hour long queues at Faro airport in Portugal
- The situation was so dire that a child fainted while waiting in the queue today
In scenes every tourist dreads when they go abroad, hundreds of British tourists have been stuck in four-hour long queues in a hot and stuffy airport in Portugal.
Video shows disgruntled holidaymakers standing tightly packed together in front of passport barriers at Faro Airport after airport staff called an unscheduled strike.
The situation was so dire in the airport that a child fainted while waiting in the queue before being attended to by paramedics.
Sam Jones, 36, from Essex, told MailOnline he was stuck in the queue – which saw people lining all the way up the suspended escalators and stairs – for nearly four hours after landing at Faro airport at 10.55am this morning.
Jones, a plumber, said the crowd was becoming increasingly ‘agitated’ after the striking passport workers left only two border control officers to deal with the influx of tourists. And Jones said he was ‘pretty certain’ those two staff members have ‘just gone for lunch and left us all here’.
It comes as British Passport Office workers today revealed they will strike for five weeks in another major blow for holidaymakers. More than 1,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services union will take part in the walk-out from April 3 to May 5 in a massive escalation of a long-running dispute over jobs, pay and conditions.
Jones, who flew from Stansted airport to Portugal with 12 of his friends for a weekend playing golf, said as soon as they landed at Faro airport, they were met with huge queues after the passport workers called an unscheduled strike.
Horrific footage shows a scene of chaos, with a crowd of dismayed passengers standing in a queue that was not moving. The footage pans round to show hundreds more tourists, with no space between them, queuing up the stairs and an escalator.
‘People are shouting and getting agitated and it’s very hot,’ Jones said, adding that he was told he could be there for up to four hours and he was separated from most of his friends.
‘There’s only two people open, and we’re pretty certain that they’ve just gone for lunch and left us all here.’
He added: ‘At this rate, I don’t think I will make it to the golf course before I fly home Monday. I can’t imagine we are going anywhere soon.’
Jones said staff began handing out water to passengers who had been standing for hours in the sweltering airport, adding that paramedics treated a child who had fainted due to the heat.
Last year, there were chaotic scenes at passport control at Lisbon airport, with tourists queuing for hours.
Portuguese authorities blamed the chaos on the ‘exponential’ increase in arrivals at airports in the country as well as shortages in staff, as travel has boomed after the Covid-19 pandemic.
News Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11872559/amp/British-passengers-forced-stand-FOUR-HOUR-queues-Portuguese-passport-workers-call-strike.html